Shouting, screaming, kicking, foot stamping, hitting, throwing and breath-holding. Temper tantrums can be scary and upsetting for both parents and children!
Almost all kids have temper tantrums, usually between the ages of one and three. The good news is that they usually stop by the age of four and are not harmful.
Tantrums are most likely when your child is frustrated or angry, especially if bored, hungry, tired or unwell. Young children find it hard to hold strong feelings inside and a tantrum is one way of letting off steam. As a parent, you may feel angry, helpless or embarrassed by this.
How to cope with tantrums
If your child has a temper tantrum:
- Try to stay calm! Shouting or getting angry only makes matters worse.
- Do not give in by giving what the child wants.
- Ignore the behaviour. Tantrums need an audience. Look away and say nothing or go to a nearby room if safe to do so.
- Distract your child with a new activity, toy or book.
- In public places, eg supermarkets, take your child to a quiet place to calm down.
Big tantrums of the 'boil over' type are frightening and cannot be ignored, especially if your child is hitting or kicking others. Hold your child or stay nearby to ensure safety. Let your child know you are in control and that you can keep him or her safe.
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.